So, you have decided to start a blog?
But in any case, if you have landed here wondering, “Whether blogging is right for you or not?”
Then, read my last post “Is blogging a right fit for you?” then come to this.
I am presuming you are certain that you want to start a blog. So, if that is right then what are we waiting for?
Let’s hop into it…
What will you read today?
- Which platform is to choose for blogging?
- Should you go for a free domain & hosting or pay for one?
- How to choose the perfect domain name?
- Where to buy your domain and web-hosting for cheap?
If you are an absolute beginner, then you might be wondering what these terms, blogging platform, domain name, and web-hosting mean?
Let me just give you a brief idea then;
- A blogging platform is an environment where your blog will run. It’s like the operating system of your computer.
- Domain name is the name people type into their browser to reach your blog. Eg, facebook.com
- Hosting is the storage where your blog’s backend files will be stored and where you will connect the blogging platform and domain name.
Here’s one analogy:
The human body is let’s say, the web-hosting where you have the brain, in our case that will be the blogging platform.
All the other parts of our body like the eyes, nose, ears, kidney, liver and all single part that makes our body work perfectly are the plugins that our blog requires to perform well.
And your name is the domain name and you are your blog.
Now when someone calls your name (domain name) it reaches you through the air (the internet), then it goes to your brain (blogging platform), it alerts all the parts (plugins) of your body (web-hosting) and you (your blog) appear.
I hope I made sense. 😀
So, let’s move on…
Which platform to choose for blogging?
Now, there are many blogging platforms to choose from.
Namely: WordPress, Blogger, Tumbler, Medium, Ghost, Squarespace, Wix and plenty others
And here’s a brief comparison:
So, from the above table, it’s obvious that wordpress.org is the best platform to go with if you are willing to pay; as it will provide ample possibilities to your blog with its more than 54000 free and premium themes & plugins to work around.
But, if you don’t want to invest right away and just want to first play around then blogger.com is the best platform I can suggest.
If you’re wondering what is the difference between wordpress.com and wordrress.org then,
wordpress.org is the most popular CMS out there. It is downloadable blogging software that you can upload to your web hosting account and start blogging. And to ease your work, nowadays almost all the hosting providers provide a one-click WordPress installation. So, you won’t have to worry about the technical hustles.
wordpress.com, on the other hand, is an online platform where you just need to sign up for an account; set up a few things and you are ready to start blogging. It’s FREE but you will have very less control over the look and feel of your blog.
Should you go for a paid domain & hosting?
Certainly yes; if you’re serious about blogging or creating a personal brand then, having a paid domain name is a must.
Having said that, if you’re not ready to make an investment right away then you can first try on the free platforms available online and once you have the confidence, go ahead and buy a basic web-hosting plan to start off.
Now a day most hosting plans come with a free domain name. So, you can take advantage of that as well.
Why am I emphasizing too much on owning a domain and web-hosting?
Well, it’s pretty obvious that owning a domain name will put your blog ahead of the many blogs that are at your current stage and running on a free web-hosting.
Moreover, your blog will have a unique identity, and starting from the very first day you can work to create a brand around your blog.
Out of the million blogs on the internet, when somebody says honingbird.com you know which one blog they are referring to.
Owning a domain name has many perks and the most important one is, it gives you so much control over your brand.
For starters, you won’t have to show the annoying ads that the free hosting providers put on your website unless you’re being too generous and want to give them a free stake in your traffic.
When you have a domain name designated to your blog, trust me most readers will take it more seriously than the others without one. It gives them a sense of seriousness you exude towards your work.
And when it comes to branding, referring your something.com domain to someone is much professional than a something.wordpress.com. Even more, you can create a personalized email id with your own domain name that says “heck yes, I am professional”.
One more perk of owning a domain name and a web-hosting, you won’t have to compromise with the look and feel of your blog. You can have it exactly the way want.
You have full access to the backend files of your site hence it gives you much freedom to design it as you imagine.
Even if you’re not a coder, you can always go ahead with WordPress; with its more than 1000 stocks of plugins, the sky’s the limit. There’s a plugin for literally every single tweak you want to do on your website.
And again, when you play with those plugins, having access to the backend comes pretty handy at times.
I have this habit of testing any new plugin I see on WordPress. And it has happened many times that, while testing the plugin I mess up something and it shuts down the whole website, leaving me clueless.
In such a situation, I just simply login to my web-hosting and delete that particular plugin and start over; and most time it solves the issue for me.
Do I need to say more?
Go on, make the first investment of your dream project and buy one domain and hosting plan.
How to choose the perfect domain name?
Confused about what should be your domain name?
Here are a few things to consider:
Well, to be honest, you don’t really need to think too much while choosing your domain name. Earlier it was a big deal choosing the right domain name coz that could impact on your search engine rankings.
People used to keep the keyword they want to rank for on Google as their domain name.
But things have changed now, it really doesn’t matter these days what you keep your domain name as long as you provide quality content that people love.
If your own name sounds good to be a domain name, look no further just keep it, given that it’s available. That, in fact, could be a nice way to brand yourself.
But cases like mine, where the name doesn’t fit as a good domain name, you will have to think of a name that sounds cool to the ears, easy to remember and somehow makes sense with what type of work you do on your website.
Take my case, I couldn’t keep biswajeetdas.com as my domain, it just doesn’t sound right to my ears. So, I looked for a name that is easy to say and catchy.
I initially (about 2 years ago) chose promptspring.com as my domain name. I was so inspired by the blog Quicksprout.com by Neil Patel that I even made a word by word interpretation of the blog name.
“Quick” = “Prompt” and “Spring” which has almost the same meaning as “Sprout”.
But recently when I finally thought to start this blog, I realized I am just trying to copy Neil Patel and somehow that doesn’t feel right.
My blog should have a name that is completely different, just like me from Neil Patel.
I wanted something unique, meaningful, catchy and something that would go well with the concept behind my blog.
And 1 month later, I found the perfect name for my blog; it is unique in a way, has a related meaning towards the blog (specially with the tagline – “A Blog for The Newbie Bloggers”), it’s somewhat easy to remember as it rhymes with the word hummingbird (thanks to google for the hummingbird update, it is a popular word in the online community now).
Like I said – I have found the perfect name.
Now, it’s your turn.
If your name is something cool like Neil Patel, Jon Loomer, Lewis Howes, Michael Hyatt or Zac Johnson, then look no further, just turn your name to your domain name.
If your first, middle or last name sounds cool then combine it with a word that is related to your field of work. The one example I can think of right now is digitaljeet.com.
If you don’t have a cool first, a middle or last name then go creative with a combination of words like honingbird.com and don’t forget to have a tagline to make it more meaningful.
Once you are done deciding your domain name you might want to know …
Where to buy your domain and web-hosting for cheap?
I suggest you go with one of the four only unless you have found a reliable local hosting provider; as they would be cheaper and you will have the opportunity to negotiate.
I personally have used Godaddy and Hostgator and after seeing many experts recommending Siteground, I have finally moved my blog to Siteground. Siteground has transparent pricing and it’s pretty cheap, hence makes its Startup plan a good fit for the starters.
And by far this is the best hosting provider I have used.
How to buy a Hosting plan from Bluehost cheaper than the regular price?
However, if you decide to go with Bluehost then, here’s one trick to get a cheap hosting plan from Bluehost.
Go to google and make a search for the term “Bluehost” click on the first link you see in the SERP, (it should be the ad).
Here’s what you should see next
It’s possible that they might not run the same offer all the time but it’s always a good practice to first do a google search before you buy any plan from them.
Now if you directly go to the Bluehost website, you won’t see the discounted plans.
But if you go through google, you can buy the same plans for a less amount.
That was a trick for Bluehost and same might work for the other hosting providers, go play around.
If you buy from any of the above-mentioned vendors you highly likely get a free domain with your plan; but if you decide to go with a local web-hosting provider then, you might not get a free domain.
So, for such situations, I have written one post on How to buy a cheap domain name from GoDaddy?
Okay, now you know …
Which blogging platform to go with?
What should be your domain name?
Where to buy your domain name and web hosting?
So, why are you still waiting?
Like they say, “Waiting is for losers”; and you ain’t one.
I know they also say, “Good things come to those who wait”; but that doesn’t work in this case.
So, stop playing mind games with yourself and get your ass up and get to work.
On that note, I will see you soon.
If you have found this post helpful or have any inputs on it, please do let me know in the comments.